Press Release Tips: The Necessary Steps to Take

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press release tips

According to the prominent legal services website, LegalZoom press releases remain one of the best ways to promote your company.

In today’s world where we’re constantly bombarded with media, your brand has to find a way to stand out. The evergreen press release is still the ideal way to gain an edge over your competitors.

But how do you go about starting a press release? How do you ensure that you write the best press release for your brand?

Here are the press release tips we recommend:

Focus On a Milestone

A press release shouldn’t be a generic statement about your company. Your press release shouldn’t be the equivalent of the ‘about me’ page on your brand’s website!

You want to brainstorm different press release ideas on what to write about. Some examples can include:

  • Responding to a crisis or improving your company’s reputation
  • Announcing an event
  • Providing a recap of an event
  • Launching a product or service
  • Announcing the launch of your company

These are just a few press release ideas to consider for your company. The common theme is that it should focus on one thing that you consider significant for your company. You want to be as specific as possible in order to reach your target audience.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

As mentioned in the previous section, your press release has to have a target audience. You want to impress this target audience and convince them to engage with your brand in some manner.

For example, if you’re launching a new product or service you want your target audience to buy said product or service.

If your company’s reputation has been hurt, you want your existing customers to regain confidence in it. Or, you might want your colleagues in the industry to not disassociate with your brand and key personnel.

Make sure you understand who your target audience is before you start writing your press release. As you write it, you must imagine that you’re speaking to them and them only.

The Format of a Press Release

Now, before we get into how to write the press release you want to learn the format of a press release.

In most cases, a press release should be between 300 to 500 words. This should include the headline, summary, and contact information for your company.

The basic format of a press release is as follows:

  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Body
  • Company Info
  • Company Contact Information

Your body should be broken into smaller paragraphs. At best, each paragraph should be no more than 3 to 5 sentences. With a press release, brevity is key so you want to have limits on how long your headline, summary, company info are, etc.

You want to review your press release several times before you publish it. Make sure it’s easy for the average person to read. They should be able to skim through it and still understand what it’s conveying.

After you finish your press release, you’ll have to distribute it. You can do this on your own social media and content management systems. You can also submit it to journalists who can assist with wider distribution.

Now let’s look further into how to write your press release.

Writing Your Headline

While this might hurt the aspiring writer in you, the truth is many readers won’t look beyond your headline.

As a result, your headline should be enough to summarize your press release and attract your audience.

Let’s say you’re writing a press release for Quentin Tarantino who has released his first book. Below you’ll find one poor example of a headline and one great example.

Poor Example:

Quentin Tarantino Releases New Book About Love Of Cinema

Great Example:

Quentin Tarantino’s “Cinema Speculation” Is Now Available In Bookstore Everywhere

Now, what makes the second example better than the first example?

The first example is too generic and the average person simply won’t care about the book. The second example specifies the name of the book and states that it’s now available to buy.

Fans of Quentin Tarantino are more likely to go out and buy his book if they see the second headline.

With your headline, you want to find a way to grab the reader’s attention and inspire some sort of action or reaction to the headline. In the event that they do read the press release, your headline should be the equivalent of a captivating first sentence in a novel.

Summary

Following your headline, you’ll write a brief summary of what your press release is about. Keep this short as 3 to 5 sentences should suffice.

In this summary, you want to mention the company or subject of the press release once again. For example, continuing on with the previous example you would write about Quentin Tarantino’s book.

An example of a summary for this subject could be:

Quentin Tarantino’s first book “Cinema Speculation” releases in bookstores everywhere today. The award-winning writer and director discusses his love for cinema and the films that have influenced him. It’s received high praise and is a must-give Christmas gift for any cinephile.

In the above summary, the first sentence tells us the subject of the press release. The next sentence describes the product in greater detail. The final sentence works to persuade the reader why they should read further and learn about the book.

This is the general approach you want to take with your press release. You don’t want to include any ambiguity in your press release. Your summary should be clear.

Once again, remember that your reader might not read the body of the press release. Your summary should convince the reader to engage with your brand.

Body

Now let’s look at the body which is the bulk of your press release. Your body should consist of 3 to 4 paragraphs in which you expand upon the focus of your press release.

Your first paragraph should serve as an introduction to what your brand wishes to convey. The final paragraph is a conclusion that wraps up the press release and how the audience can engage with the brand.

In the middle paragraph(s) discuss the theme of the press release. As a general rule, you want to use short sentences that are easy to read. Include at least one quote from a company representative to discuss the theme of the press release.

This is the most challenging part of the press release and, naturally, will require some fine-tuning. An easy way to learn how to write a press release is to try re-writing an existing published press release in your own words.

You should also save your favorite press releases to your computer. Consider printing them out and reading them on occasion. As with every writing skill, you need to read a lot of “content” in your field to understand the craft.

End of Press Release

Now we’re at the end of the press release. All you have to do is include a short summary of the company and what it does.

Underneath that, include the company’s contact information. You should write the following:

  • Company Name
  • Name of Company Representative
  • Contact Information — Phone Number and Email Address
  • Company Address
  • Company Website

Now you’ve finished your press release and just have to review it one or two times until it’s ready. After that, you’re ready to distribute your press release.

Best Practices

Let’s end with looking at a few more press release tips to consider for creating the best press release.

When starting a press release you want to spend more time on the headline than anything else. As stated earlier, the headline should be sufficient to attract readers.

Try to be as succinct in your headline but also inspire action through your choice of words.

When writing a press release, use simple language at all times. This is not the place to use ‘multitude’ as opposed to ‘variety.’

The company should be referred to always in the third person. Even if you’re writing about yourself or your brand, stick to this principle. In most cases, you should use contractions.

Since your press release has a strict word limit you have to be economical with your words. If you send your press release for publication, there might be some publications that demand it to get shortened. You want to prepare to make your press release as succinct as possible.

If time permits, give your press release to a disinterested third party. They’ll be able to give you an honest critique of your press release. This person should be a layman so you can assess how effective your press release is.

Get Started With These Press Release Tips

Now you know our best press release tips and know how to write a press release and send it for distribution.

Make sure you focus on a specific milestone for your press release. You want to inspire action or reaction from your target audience with your press release.

You can use our tips on how to structure your press release. To perfect writing a press release, consider re-writing existing press releases and reading your favorite ones.

Of course, we can help you with writing a press release and distributing it. Contact us to learn more about our services!

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